Our Town Research Project

By Brett Berg

Sports

1900-1920s was considered to be the golden age in sports. Newspapers and radios started cover sports more often. Baseball was starting to become popular and one of the most famous players of all-time was Babe Ruth. Football was also on the rise. College football was the most popular with colleges like North Carolina, Notre Dame, Texas, Princeton, and California that are still around today. Boxing emerged in this era and lots of spectators enjoyed watching the matches in arenas.
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Automobiles

Brothers James and Charles Duryea were the first men to successfully make a gasoline powered car in the early 1900s. The news was widespread and they eventually made the Duryea Motor Wagon Company. This was the first brand of cars that were manufactured. The most popular brand at the time was Ford. Henry Ford founded the company in 1903. Their most popular car at the time was the Model T. The Model T was one of the first cars that was made by an assembly line. It was affordable to most Americans and it changed the lives of everyone.
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Literature

There were many genres of literature in the early 1900s. One of the most famous books at this time and ever was the Wizard of Oz. The Wizard of Oz was written in 1900 by L. Frank Baum. It's effect of imagination was very powerful to Americans but it was also a good book for children. Some other famous books at this time were...
  • Harriet, The Moses of Her People by Sarah Bradford
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams
  • Family Limitation by Margaret Sanger
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Farming

In the early 1900s, farming in the great plains was very popular. The land hadnt been farmed before and it was very fertile. In a census done in 1910, the population of the entire United States was about 92 million people and 32 million of them were farmers. Farmers made up 31% of the labor force. Also from 1910-1920, the immigration of agricultural workers from Mexico to the U.S. was very popular. This also helped the growth of farming in the United States during this time period.
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Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder was born on April 17, 1897. He was born in the United States but moved to Hong Kong in 1906 because of his fathers job. When things were becoming unstable in Hong Kong, Wilder and his family moved back to the United States. Then, he enrolled in Oberlin college. However, he transferred to Yale in 1917. He enlisted into the army during World War 1 and after the war he got a bachelors degree from Yale. Wilder began to pursue his dream of writing and teaching. He taught English and French while writing scripts. One of his skills was that he could speak five different languages. In 1928, he published his second novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey. It was very popular and won the Pulitzer Prize. Then in 1938, he became wildly popular with the play, OurTown. Just before World War 2, he won the Pulitzer Prize again for writing the screen play for Alfred Hitchcock's "Of a Doubt." He once again enlisted in the army during World War 2 and was a Air Force Intelligence Officer and earned a bronze star. He continued to write as well as lecture after the war. Thornton Wilder died December 7, 1975 in Massachusetts.
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